Toshiba officially confirms end of HD DVD
The format war ends with victory for Blu-ray, as Toshiba confirms speculation that it’s dropping HD DVD.
The decision by Toshiba to axe the format it pioneered was widely expected, after several high profile movie studios and content creators including Warner Bros dropped HD DVD support in favour of Blu-ray, while several retailers also walked away from selling HD DVD content, including Wal-mart and Netflix in the US and several retailers in the UK including Woolworths.
“We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called “next-generation format war” and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop,” says Toshiba’s chief executive Atsutoshi Nishida in a statement.
“While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped.”
Nishida did not make any comment about the financial implications of Toshiba’s withdrawal of HD DVD, though the company is expected to report a significant financial loss in relation to unsold products and components, potential compensation to suppliers and partners, and the general write down of the value of its HD DVD operation on its balance sheet.
The company will now wind down shipments of HD DVD drives and associated components, with the intention of stopping supply altogether by the end of next month.
Retailers and PC builders are now expecting a sharp rise in sales of Blu-ray players and drives, with several of the major computing brands including Apple already a Blu-ray supporter, expected to add Blu-ray drives as an option for workstations and laptops.